Arsenal legend believes Van Persie situation needs sorting soon
Last Updated: August 10, 2012 7:09pm
Arsenal legend Ray Parlour believes the Robin Van Persie situation is awkward but he is optimistic the Gunners can end their trophy drought this season.
Arsene Wenger's side have endured seven trophyless seasons since their success in the 2005 FA Cup.
While skipper and last season's leading goalscorer Van Persie has expressed a desire to leave the club, the Gunners have already signed forwards Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud and attacking midfielder Santi Cazorla.
Speaking of the prospects for the Gunners, Parlour, who is coming out of retirement to play for Wembley FC on Saturday in their Extra Preliminary Round FA Cup tie against Langford FC, said: "Optimistic again. They have brought some good players in. Podolski is very experienced, I like the signing of Cazorla as well - I think he can bring something different to that midfield, I mean a little bit more attack-minded.
"Giroud had a great season in the French league last year - I know the Premier League is a little bit tougher than the French league - but maybe he can step up, he's got the physique, so hopefully he can bang a few goals in.
"So I've been quite impressed with the signings they've made so far. Maybe there's one or two others can come in as well.
"But obviously the teams to beat are Manchester City, Manchester United, who are trying to probably strengthen as well before the season starts, and obviously Chelsea as well, who have brought a few players as well, so it should be very exciting like last season."
Parlour believes the Van Persie situation is awkward and needs to be sorted out soon, with Manchester United reported to be the front runners to sign the Dutch ace.
He said: "I'm sure Arsene Wenger wants a decision being made before (the opening game) next week against Sunderland because it's going to be a very awkward situation.
"If Robin says that he's staying then I'm sure the fans will be fine with that, you know people forget very quickly if you score a couple of goals in the first game.
"But it's going to be awkward, you never know what the crowd reaction will be to him if he does stay.
"But they just need to sort the situation out. I'm sure it's all about haggling at the moment with the fee and Arsenal are not going to let him go for nothing so it should be a bit of negotiation to do this week and let's see what happens."
Arsenal midfielder Alex Song has been linked to Barcelona but Parlour does not think the Gunners will let him go.
"I think he's become quite an important player for Arsenal," he said.
Meanwhile Parlour, whose honours with Arsenal include lifting the league three times and FA Cup four times, is looking forward to playing for Combined Counties Premier Division side Wembley FC on Saturday.
Former football internationals including Martin Keown, Graeme Le Saux, Claudio Caniggia and Brian McBride are also set to be involved in their Extra Preliminary Round FA Cup tie against Langford FC, while former England boss and Wembley FC Technical Advisor Terry Venables will take his place in the dugout.
"As for me being in the squad and eligible at the weekend, to be able to play (if I'm picked!) in the FA Cup once again is an amazing opportunity and one I will relish on the pitch.
"Hopefully me and the other legends can help Wembley FC progress to the next round."
To stay in touch with Wembley FC and their progress with Budweiser visit http://www.wembleyfc.co.uk and follow them on Twitter @WembleyFC.